Since the recession, I have seen many articles debating whether college is essential to a successful career. Many of my 20-something peers are struggling to land work and questioning, “Why did I go through four years of school when I can’t even get a decent job?”
My belief is that a college degree does not guarantee a career by itself and is simply an extension to your personal brand. Gone are the days where you can expect to be handed a job along with your degree, or where seniors already have job offers on the table before even graduating. A degree is worthless if you expect it to be a boarding pass to a prosperous career. The reality is that there are millions of other grads with the same degree, many with better GPA’s from better schools. With the internet, recruiters now have access to a wide pool of the best potential employees.
So what sets you apart from Ms. Overachiever with the same degree? In the end, it all boils down to the skills and knowledge that you can bring to the table.
Then there is the age old question of, “How can I gain experience when I can’t even land a job to give me experience?” Learning shouldn’t stop after college is over. With technology, you have access to learn virtually anything at almost no cost. Just start by searching on Google, “How to…”, start a business, build a website, etc. Become the authority in your desired field. Seek advice from peers and professionals through social networks and forums. People online are more than willing to share their knowledge and expertise. Technology has cultivated a do-it-yourself culture, it empowers any average Joe to learn and create almost anything without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars.
I am not against college because there are simply not many learning and social environments that are as fun and interactive as college. But, too many young-adults are expecting college to hand them a prosperous career along with their degree. Keep in mind, a college degree is worth as much as the skills and knowledge you’ve gained that can be applied to your career of choice.
Do you think college is worth it, Lovelies?